An Amber Alert is supposed to allow the public to help in the pursuit of child abductors, but a big delay in the issuing of an Amber Alert in Anderson, Missouri has left citizens asking why. Police say the child's family prevented the system from working as it should.
Police are collecting tips from the public and hoping an Amber Alert helps them track down a six-month-old baby from Anderson, Missouri.
Baby Mitchell Farris was taken January 2nd from his great-grandfather's apartment in Anderson where he was placed by the Missouri Division of Family Services.
It is considered to be a parental kidnapping. The child is believed to be in a 2004 Red Ford Freestar Mini Van with Missouri tags U-H-7-D-2-R, driven by his biological parents, Preston Farris and Anastasia McDaniel.
Chief Donavon Pierson with Anderson Police says they have already come a long way in their search process since yesterday.
"I think there is a pretty good chance we will be able to find the kid, as long as we can get people still calling in, still helping us trying to locate him and get the kid back safely," he said.
The department has received 75-100 phone calls with tips on the case since the Amber Alert went out Friday afternoon.
Some Anderson residents raised some concerns about the effectiveness of the Amber Alert system when it took 8 days to receive the notification.
Pierson says the reason for this is that Anderson Police was not notified of the kidnapping in 8 days either. "It wasn't any fault on our part. We didn't get the call and we had the Amber Alert out within an hour to an hour and a half after taking the initial call," he said.
Police and residents agree that means valuable time has been wasted.
"It's a drain on us especially when something like this happens and 8 days go by without it being reported, Pierson said. "That means we're now 8 days behind the suspect, we're 8 days behind where the child could be."
"He could be from here to California or into any other country by now," Goodman resident Jeanette Browdy said.
Police say the great-grandfather never reported the incident when it happened.
Pierson says it's important to report an incident like this immediately to allow the amber alert system to work as it should.
Preston Farris is described as a 5'10" white male, 230 lbs. with brown hair.
Anastasia McDaniel is approximately 5'6", 200 lbs. with red or strawberry-blonde hair.
Again, they are believed to be traveling in a 2004 Red Ford Freestar Mini Van with Missouri tag U-H-7-D-2-R and anyone with information is encouraged to contact local law enforcement.